Dave Matthews Band Attempts to Make Amends

Nov. 1, 2004

The Dave Matthews Band said last week it wants to make amends after one of its tour bus drivers was accused of dumping human waste on sightseers on the Chicago River, but it stopped short of accepting responsibility for the incident.

The Illinois Attorney General's office sued the band and the driver after the Aug. 8 incident, alleging that the driver emptied the vehicle's septic tank while crossing a bridge over the river, dousing more than 100 tour boat passengers with raw sewage.

The band said it had contacted the boat owner and tour operator to try to identify the affected passengers. The band also said it has suspended the driver and is donating $50,000 each to the Chicago Park District and a nonprofit group that protects the Chicago River.

"We hope by reaching out and helping now this will help demonstrate our commitment to step up if we are found to be the responsible party," the band said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The lawsuit accused the band and driver of violating state water pollution and public nuisance laws.

Melissa Merz, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, said the band's latest action would not affect ongoing settlement talks.

"We certainly, along with all Illinoisans, appreciate the gesture of goodwill, but legal negotiations are based on evidence and legal procedures and we have not yet reached a resolution in this case," Merz said.

Source: AP

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